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We hope this helps to de-mystify the process of building rectification with tbe solutions building consultants.
Generally, once you find a building issue, you can follow the procedure outlined below through to the end. We know the process of rectification can be a long road, especially for Strata Managers, complicated by government regulations like Australian Standards, the agenda and management of contractors, the management of your Owners Corporation/EC, the procurement of appropriate documents and certificates, and so on. We hope the following stages and steps help to de-mystify the process of building rectification with TBE Solutions Building Consultants.
It is important to remember that because the three stages are quite separate, and are often segmented, they are all priced separately. The italicised sections are extra, more specific notes on each step; the bold is your fast-track through the process.
STAGE 1: CONDITION REPORT & SCOPE OF WORKS
- You, the Client, identify a defect in your building (for example: basement water penetration, unstable balcony balustrades, render cracking etc.) and decide that a Condition Report is necessary to identify the condition of the building, record the extent of the defect, and to get an experienced recommendation on how to proceed.
- You contact TBE Solutions - the engineering consultants - and request a free quote by email, by supplying us with the details of the job (for example: the approximate affected area, the available access, the number of units that require inspection, etc.). Please note that many clients come to us having contacted the builder directly first, and they find that either they over-paid for unnecessarily exorbitant procedures or received a short-term solution, rather than a long-term one. We always advise speaking to a building consultant first because a builder will typically specify a remediation process that is in their best interests, but a building consultant will provide the best solution for the owners, regardless of the builders agenda, and contract the builders to perform these services for you at competitive prices. It may seem like it will cost you more money to begin with a consultant, but it may save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
- TBE Solutions will respond with a free tailored quote for your job in the first 7 days after receiving your quote request, and (depending on the extent of the project) it will tell you the combined cost of a registered building consultant/engineer to visit and visually inspect the defect (non-invasive procedure) on site, and the cost of a photographic defect report. The free quote is provided based only on the specific details that you, the Client, provide us with so be as detailed as possible. It is a preliminary quote, and our building consultants/engineers do NOT visit the site prior to the actual inspection for the quote.
- If the quote is approved by you (or the Executive Committee, or Owners Corporation, etc.), the building consultant/engineer will organise to visit and inspect the site (all owner access is coordinated by TBE Solutions), then the inspector will create the Condition Report, and it will be delivered to you in hard and soft copy. After you receive the report you transfer us your payment for it. The site inspections and creation of the report is the step that takes the longest in Stage 1, and it helps if you are prepared for this beforehand; lots of factors outside the control of the inspector can impact inspections, such as weather and difficult tenants, and the report requires time to compile as it is comprehensive. The report will contain the findings and recommendations of the inspector, and will indicate recommendations for required. The Condition Report is mainly intended to be a photographic record and identification of each individual defect. Rectification recommendations are provided for each defect, and are summarised at the end, but they do NOT constitute a detailed Scope of Works which builders require if the job is extensive.
- If your job necessitates significant rectification, we will suggest that you get a Scope of Works included with your report. We will indicate this in our initial quote and include it in the breakdown of costs. The Scope of Works lists every specific step to be taken by the builders in the process of rectification to adhere to Australian and Environmental standards. It will generally include, for example: WH&S precautions to be carried out prior to commencement, safety precautions during the stages of rectification, specific materials and quantities that are required, the exact building codes and standards which must be met at each step, technical drawings and engineering specs that are necessary, etc. As a very separate and technically-specific document, the Scope of Works is an additional cost on top of the Condition Report. If you already know that you will require a detailed Scope of Works at the outset, you can request it, otherwise the consultant will suggest one based on the project size. If the job is small, you may not need a Scope of Works but can proceed with the Recommendations from the engineer/building consultant included in the Condition Report.
- Using the Condition Report (and Scope of Works if required), you can discuss the necessary repairs with the Owners Corporation/Executive Committee (or if you are a home owner, with your family), and if you decide that the recommended building works should be carried out, you proceed to stage two: Tender.
STAGE 2: TENDER
- The next step, after receiving your Condition Report and Scope of Works is the tender process that begins when you send us an email requesting a Tender Management quote. We will respond to your email request with your free quote within 7 days. A "tender" is when bids are invited for a project from potential contractors, and it is designed to encourage competitive pricing. Of course, you can always find the contractor yourself, but once again, by going with us, you will not only be saving yourself a stressful time chasing down building companies, but because of our experience, we already have a list of contractors that have proven themselves to be proficient, communicative and hard-working, which means they are on our "preferred contractors list".
- If you accept our Tender Management quote, as soon as we receive payment from you we will begin the process of Tender Management. In the TBE Solutions Tender Management process we do everything for you, including: 1) preparation of the tender documents and price schedule for the potential contractors; 2) the issuing of a tender to 3 contractors from the TBE Solutions preferred contractor list (with documents such as the Scope of Works and Condition Report included); 3) the organisation of an on-site meeting with the 3 contractors to discuss the building works, access, and Work Health & Safety requirements of the job; 4) collection and revision of all submitted tenders in accordance with our Terms and Conditions; 5) creation of a Tender Analysis which includes our recommendations, and provision of it to you.
- After you receive the Tender Analysis document from us, you can discuss with your Owners Corporation/Executive Committee (or if you are a home owner, with your family), what to do based on our recommendations. If you decide to proceed with our recommended contractor from the Tender Analysis, you will move into the Rectification stage.
STAGE 3: RECTIFICATION
- During the last stage of the process, you can hire us to be your Project Managers, which means we carry out three main functions: Contract Administration, overseeing the Rectification process, and Certification of the completed works. If you want to go ahead with this, send us an email requesting a Project Management quote, and we will respond with your free quote in the first 7 days. Once you let us know that you accept this quote, we can begin. Please note, the payment process for our Project Management is as follows: the contractor will submit a progress claim invoice that declares a stage of the works has been completed and requires payment (which we will certify based on our inspections & update reports). We will then forward a Payment Certificate to you, along with our update report, and then follow this up with our own invoice that is a percentage of the Payment Certificate cost. In other words, payment to us is made in increments which reflect the percentage of works completed. This payment system is designed for your benefit in a number of ways - it means you only send us payment for what has been completed, so if a stage of the works is delayed, you don't have to pay for it until it is completed, it also means that we are encouraged to keep the works moving forward, and if it is a large job, you can transfer the money from the Owners Corporation/Executive Committee with plenty of time.
- In the Contract Administration stage, we facilitate and oversee the contract exchange between you and your chosen contractor, and organise all payment paperwork for the rectification process. Contract Administration means we take care of: providing a copy of the contract for you, advising you about anything you need to be aware of in the fine details, returning the signed contracts to each party, ensuring the contractor commences the works on-site, ensuring that the owners and residents have been adequately informed about the works and their approximate duration with visible, on-site signage, and finally, all administration regarding payment, including the periodic Payment Certificates from the contractor.
- In the Rectification stage we visit the site periodically and inspect the remedial works at crucial stages through to practical completion, conferring with the contractor to resolve any issues that eventuate, and updating you on the progress of the works with photographic and written reports at crucial stages of the works. In this process we also: 1) ensure contractor compliance with quality assurance, prototypes, inspections, and warranty requirements; 2) verify repair quantities if accurate quantities are unavailable at tender; 3) certify contractor claims for payment and retention calculations. Please note, retention money is money that you can keep out of each Payment Certificate, and it must be paid at the end of the job (it is not a discount). Half of the retained money must be paid when Practical Completion is reached, and the full retained monies must be paid when Final Completion is reached. The money you are allowed to retain is 5% of the entire contractor fee. It is processed as 10% off each Payment Certificate from the contractor, until the total retention amount (5% of the entire contractor cost) is reached. Although many Clients prefer to pay contractors in full, we include retention calculations in our Project Management because it is in your best interests to retain money to ensure the full cooperation of the contractor, and ensure the job is completed to your satisfaction. Retention money is automatically required for contract sums that are equal to, or more than, $50K according to Australian Standards 2002: Annexure Part A to AS2905.
- Once the rectification works are completed we issue you a Practical Completion Certificate. After this, there is a 26 week Defects Liability Period. During this period, if any defects arise from the site, we assess and submit them to the contractor who is required to come back immediately and fix them without any cost. We organise any remedial works and paperwork, again with no cost to you. Please note, the period of assessment for any defects or issues between our practical completion and final completion is a very important stage and means we are on top of the contractor's performance, making sure that anything is fixed that needs to be, and that the site is left clean and perfectly to your satisfaction at the end.
- When the 26 weeks are over, you will receive a Final Completion Certificate, and the job is complete.
Please Note: The process detailed above is generalised for the sake of clarity - it is intended to only reflect the basic and most common steps of building remediation . Please understand that as everyone's project is different, so too will their remediation process be different.